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Devotion - February 3, 2021

In this time of deep political and cultural divisions, finding common ground with people with different worldviews, cultures or lifestyles does not seem to be widely popular. I am blessed to be a part of a church community where the members work at trying to be in relationship and conversation with each other despite differences in ethnicity, gender orientations, spiritual beliefs and even political viewpoints. This does not mean that I always embrace or agree with what others say or do, but that I do accept that others are entitled to live life and find meaning, love and support in their own non-harmful ways. I do not have to become like them, but I can at least try to understand in some way what motivates them, and what might help them to realize God’s infinite love.

1 Corinthians 9:19-23


Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.


When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.


Devotion by Chris Shiver

For some 18 years I volunteered in a ministry for men who were incarcerated in our state's correctional system. I could not become like those men or even fully comprehend either the life situations or the choices that had caused them to be in that system, or what life was really like living in that constrained and often negative environment. What I could do was listen and share with them what others had earlier shared with me: That God through Christ loves all of us as we are, and wants to help each of us become more like what we were meant to be, regardless of our past traumas and mistakes.


In this time of deep political and cultural divisions, finding common ground with people with different worldviews, cultures or lifestyles does not seem to be widely popular. I am blessed to be a part of a church community where the members work at trying to be in relationship and conversation with each other despite differences in ethnicities, gender orientations, spiritual beliefs and even political viewpoints. This does not mean that I always embrace or agree with what others say or do, but that I do accept that others are enti